A haunting collection of the everyday from a die-hard Minnesotan.

Each day leading up to the April 16 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature 2011 Novel and Short Story finalist:

Losing Camille
Paul Kilgore
Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books
Category Sponsor: Anchor Trust


An excerpt from the short story “Roeschler’s Home” in Losing Camille:

The Melander farmhouse was unchanged, but its yard was now an island among a churned sea of brown: earthmovers had cut hills and filled swales, tentative roads had laced away the geometry of one hundred thirty years of plowing. A large plywood sign, professionally painted, demanded attention. Future Site of Roeschler Homesites, it said clumsily, in green lettering. Then, in red: Luxurious Country Living. Homes beginning at $499,000.

This collection of ten stories features characters on the move—from youth to independence, safety to adventure, and familiar reassurance to dangerous possibility. A high school teacher haunted by nightmares, sweet memories from a wise grandfather and a Christmas dinner from hell are the subjects of a few of the stories.


Paul Kilgore is a practicing lawyer. He has been a columnist for the Pioneer Press and his work has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”


“A haunting collection of the everyday; well-crafted.” – MN Book Awards preliminary judge.

“This volume is worth snapping up for its successful stories, and for the brilliance it hints at. Kilgore is a Minnesotan to the core, and he conveys what it means to be one beautifully in his best stories. We have high expectations for his next effort.” – Pamela Miller, Star Tribune

“The author’s clear eye for detail, and his curiosity about his characters, indicate that he’s probably a pretty good lawyer too!” – Bill Holm, author of Eccentric Islands and Coming Home Crazy


Kilgore was full of literary references when Minnesota Reads posed the Six Questions We Always Ask 

The author penned the following sonnet back in 2000 for A Prairie Home Companion’s St. Valentine’s Day sonnet contest.

Sonnet for Becky
How heavy do we journey on our way,
The cranberry minivan crammed and tight,
Our daughters equipped for the weekend away,
They’ve pictures to draw, poems and stories to write.
And you beside me, sifting through the mail,
Quick notes announcing news of every kind;
While you recite your distant cousin’s tale
I fight to leave the workweek’s cares behind.
Did we create this intricate world?
A shy love had begun simply enough.
How could we have imagined these girls,
This inexhaustible supply of love?
That summer’s flat on Emerson Avenue…
We talked, loved, wondered; but never knew.

Paul Kilgore, Duluth, Minnesota


Award winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Few tickets remain, tickets are $45 and are now only available by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information about the gala this Saturday.

Have you read Losing Camille? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!


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